2005 Legislative Compendium: Trauma/EMS

Trauma Funding Clean-Up  |  Trauma Funding Limitation 


Trauma Funding Clean-Up

HB 2470 by Rep. Dianne Delisi (R-Temple) and Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Lewisville) perfects portions of the Driver Responsibility Program and trauma funding account enacted in 2003. The bill clarifies that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) must reserve $500,000 each year for extraordinary emergencies instead of maintaining that amount throughout the year. Any funds not expended in a year may be allocated toward the next year's reserve. It also allows the trauma regional advisory committees to use any unspent funds in the following year. Additionally, it requires traffic law citations to indicate that the driver may be assessed a surcharge as part of the Driver Responsibility Program.

Trauma Funding Limitation

Budget Rider 84, Article II - Texas Department of State Health Services, limits the amount of funding that can be appropriated to DSHS to compensate designated trauma facilities for uncompensated trauma care. The General Appropriations Act, SB 1, provides a line item appropriation of $31 million in each year of the biennium for trauma care. DSHS had expected up to $59 million in 2006 and $80 million in 2007 from incoming receipts from the Driver Responsibility Program. The rider, amended during conference committee, gives the first $31 million in the account to DSHS. Money accrued in the account above $31 million will be held in the account. If the account exceeds $59 million in 2006, any excess will be allocated to DSHS. In 2007, any funds over $89 million will be allocated. In other words, in 2006, $28 million, the difference between $31 million and $59 million, will sit in the account, and only money in excess of $59, if any, will be distributed. In 2007, $49 million will sit in the account. Only money above $80 million will be allocated.

The rider was added in the final days and caught interested legislators and trauma stakeholders by surprise. It is unlikely the rider will be fixed during special sessions. Therefore, trauma facility funding will be lower than anticipated during the next two years. TMA supports full restoration of the funding.

Trauma/EMS TMA Staff Contacts:  

  • Helen Kent Davis, Governmental Affairs, (512) 370-1401
  • Rich Johnson, Medical Economics, (512) 370-1315
  • Hilary Dennis, Legislative Affairs, (512) 370-1370 

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